People with anxiety

Most people assume that those with anxiety disorders face severe limitations in their daily lives. However, some anxious people function well at work, maintain a social life, and generally appear “normal.”

In fact, they might even be considered high achievers. Yet, on the inside, they are worried, stressed, and have a tendency to assume the worst in every situation.

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What are the signs of high-functioning anxiety?

This form of anxiety is hard to spot, even if you suffer from it. Fortunately, mental health professionals are starting to recognize that someone can have a clinical anxiety disorder and still meet their professional and personal obligations.

Here are 20 signs to watch for in yourself or someone else:

1. Sleeping irregular hours

It is common for anxious people to lie awake at night worrying.

This disrupts sleep patterns and causes daytime fatigue.

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2. Using negative or pessimistic language on a frequent basis (“I can’t,” “I won’t,” etc.)

Our language reflects our thoughts.

Anxious people dwell on the negatives, and they are quick to point out potential obstacles.

3. Loading up on carb-heavy foods

This has a temporary sedating effect, but leads to food cravings, blood sugar fluctuations, and weight gain.

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4. Dwelling on past mistakes

Anxious people tend to over-analyze both the present and the past.

They beat themselves up for even the most minor errors.

5. Getting into pointless arguments with loved ones

Anxiety can lead to irritability and loss of patience, which can cause relationship problems.

Treating high-functioning anxiety

Anxiety responds well to treatment.

Treatment options include medication and psychotherapy, along with lifestyle changes such as adopting a healthier diet and undertaking regular exercise. If you have high-functioning anxiety, seek help from your doctor as soon as possible.

Supporting someone else can be tough, because they may not be willing or able to acknowledge that they have a problem.

If your loved one is adamant that everything is OK, don’t try to force them into seeking help. Let them know that you are always around to listen. That way, they can approach you when they feel ready to take the first steps towards recovery.

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